The city is working on securing funding from the federal government to build 21 new and affordable homes in three neighborhoods that could use the boost – Third Ward, Settegast, and South Union.
Vannie Johnston has deep Third Ward roots, growing up in the Cuney Homes, graduating from Jack Yates High School and taking classes at the HBCU Texas Southern University. She thinks the investment can make a difference in her neighborhood if the affordable housing designated is actually affordable.
“In Houston, and across the country, city governments and developers get access to big money to build affordable housing, then you see the cost and it’s only affordable to those people in the high, high-income brackets,” said Johnston. “If they’re talking affordable for working-class families, that could do us some real good.”
Johnston is taking a “wait-and-see” attitude about the end result. But according to the city, she won’t have to wait long. And she won’t be disappointed.
The projection is that homes affordable to low-income and middle-income individuals and families will be available by as early as Spring/Summer 2024 for purchase. Funding for this endeavor, however, has yet to be finalized, but the City of Houston is said to be working on nailing down the money needed to build 20-plus homes in total for the three targeted neighborhoods.
The city is securing funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Here’s how the project breaks down monetarily:
· $2.81 million – 10 properties in Third Ward
· $3.48 million – 11 properties in Settegast
· $280,000 – One property in South Union.
Interested buyers are anxiously awaiting the announcement of what these homes will be going for. Johnston’s cousin, Milfred Ali, lives in Pearland but grew up in Settegast, and has always wanted to return to his neighborhood if possible.
“Man, this would be a dream come true if I can get one of those homes,” he said. “I can’t wait to find out.”
The project is reportedly still in the environmental review phase. During this phase, the public will have 15 days to submit any comments or concerns. If all systems are “go” according to the public, the request for the HUD funds can be completed, and new affordable housing will be available.